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Saturday, May 14, 2011


Basil pesto combined with some ricotta cheese is the perfect stuffing for tender grilled chicken breasts.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup basil pesto, divided
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


In small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons pesto, ricotta, and pepper and mix well. Cut a pocket in the side of the thickest part of the chicken breast. Stuff pesto mixture into the pocket and smooth closed; seal with a toothpick. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken. Prepare and preheat grill. Grill chicken for 4-5 minutes until it can be moved, then carefully turn and grill on second side for 3-5 minutes until juices run clear and chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove toothpicks, top with remaining pesto and serve immediately.

  • ½ pound of medium size shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 1 ½ - 2 pounds of lean beef, preferably filet mignon, although any steak cut will do.
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 clove, minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (or 1 squeezed lemon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • skewer sticks (metal preferably)


  • Begin by cutting the beef into 1 - 1 ½ inch cubes. Or enough to place 4 on each kabob.
  • Now it's time to chop the vegetables. Cut the zucchini into thick slices to make round circles.
  • Peel the eggplant. Cut it into thick slices about an inch long and an inch wide.
  • Clean the peppers. Cut into square slices, about an inch or so wide.
  • Do the same with the onion. You want it to look uniform so all the pieces should be about the same size.
  • Place the beef cubes and vegetables (with the tomatoes) into a large bowl.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of the olive oil, 1 ½ tbsp of the chopped basil, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and your salt and pepper. Mix this up until the vegetables and beef cubes are covered evenly.
  • Now refrigerate this mixture for at least 6 hours, 24 recommended.
  • Now place all of the shrimp into a separate bowl.
  • Add the remaining olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and the old bay seasoning.
  • Mix this until the shrimp is covered evenly.
  • Refrigerate this for about an hour (longer than this is just fine).
  • When you are ready to grill, light your grill and let it get hot.
  • While it's getting hot, you can prep your skewers. Start off with a tomato at the top to hold everything on and then layer the shrimp, vegetables, and beef, finishing off with a tomato at the bottom, leaving about an inch at the top and two inches at the bottom.
  • When you're ready to grill, just place them across the bars to get some good grill marks, close to the heat. Turn each one every 3-4 minutes, allowing each side to brown evenly.
  • Keep an eye on them as some of the vegetables may brown a little faster, if this happens, move the kabob to a cooler part of the grill, or the upper rack, so as to not burn the vegetables completely. You want a good amount of brown or char on the vegetables though, it just adds to the flavor. The beef should come out about medium, though you'll probably get a variety of temperatures.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of fresh basil!
  • Serve over white rice or Rice Pilaf or over a bed of fried leeks.

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